Last year, during a fuel conflict with Russia, Alexander Lukashenka decided to find an alternative source of petroleum by buying it from Venezuela. According to data published last Monday by the Belorussian National Statistics Institute, Venezuelan fuel was twice as expensive as the Russian.
Minsk planned to purchase 10 millions tonnes of oil from Venezuela, however after importing 1.8 million tonnes, the transaction was halted. It turned out that a tonne of Venezuelan oil with the transport expenditures, costs 656 dollars, while the Russian is just 431 dollars.
The Venezuelan oil is lighter and allows for extracting more petroleum than Russian. But even when this difference is considered, profits of importing oil from the other Hemisphere remain questionable. In 2010, Belarus imported from Russia 13 million tonnes of oil, paying for it 5.6 billion dollars.
Michał Janczuk (TV Belsat)